DeSantis encourages IB, dual enrollment courses amid College Board crackdown

by | Feb 14, 2023

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis has floated International Baccalaureate and dual enrollment academic pathways as alternatives to Advanced Placement courses.
  • The comments come a day after DeSantis said the state would “re-evaluate” its relationship with the College Board.
  • DeSantis also stated he engaged with House Speaker Paul Renner and directed education officials to reconsider their relationship with the College Board.
  • DeSantis and College Board have engaged in a back-and-forth affair stemming from Florida’s rejection of the AP African American Studies course on grounds that it violates state education standards 

As questions arise surrounding the future of College Board in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis touted International Baccalaureate and dual enrollment classes as alternatives. In giving the remarks on Tuesday, the governor reassured that high school students in Florida will have access to college credits.

The comments come just a day after DeSantis said the state will “look to re-evaluate” its relationship with the College Board — the developer of Advanced Placement courses — after the group issued a controversial statement attacking his Administration.

College Board’s statement criticized state officials and expressed regret for not pushing back against the DeSantis Administration’s public objections to controversial content in the AP African American Studies course that drew the ire of Florida’s Department of Education.

Subsequently, DeSantis contends there are alternative methods for Florida high school students to acquire college credits, including the International Baccalaureate (IB) and dual enrollment pathways.

“Florida students are going to have that ability [to earn college credit],” said DeSantis. “That is not going to be diminished. In fact, we’re going to continue to work to expand it, but it’s not clear to me that this particular operator is the one that is going to need to be used in the future.”

Claiming that IB, and a third option: the Cambridge program, present more “academically rigorous” curricula for students, DeSantis pointed towards some of Florida’s top-performing high schools — both public and private — that utilize one or both of the programs.

DeSantis on Monday called upon other states to follow Florida’s lead, stating that he’s “sick of people not doing what’s right” out of fear of being attacked.

The governor added that he has already engaged in conversation with House Speaker Paul Renner and would direct state education officials to reconsider its relationship with College Board.

“Nobody elected [the College Board] to anything,” DeSantis said on Monday. “They’re just kind of there and they’re providing a service. And so, you can either utilize those services or not, and they’ve provided these AP courses for a long time. But you know, there are probably some other vendors who may be able to do that job as well or maybe even a lot better.”

The spat between the governor and College Board began when the DeSantis Administration informed College Board that it is rejecting its AP African American Studies class from being taught in Florida on grounds that the class is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law,” and “significantly lacks educational value.”

“As submitted, the course is a vehicle for a political agenda and leaves large, ambiguous gaps that can be filled with additional ideological material, which we will not allow,” said the Office of the Governor.

According to the AP syllabus, the course is an interdisciplinary class that “examines the diversity of African American experiences through direct encounters with authentic and varied sources.”

The course additionally challenges students to “identify the intersections of race, gender, and class,” as well as connections between Black communities in the United States and the broader African diaspora.

On the precipice of being shut out from Florida, College Board revised its curriculum, removing subject matter related to “queer theory,” “movements for Black lives,” “Black feminist literary thought,” “intersectionality and activism” and “the reparations movement.”

Following the submission of the new course framework, the group backtracked, stating that it “deeply regrets” not immediately denouncing the Florida Department of Education’s comments, leading to this week’s threat from DeSantis to disassociate.

The Capitolist attempted to reach the Office of the Governor for comment but did not receive a response. 


%d bloggers like this: